Traveling this summer? This list of healthy airplane snacks will get you to your destination with a full belly, even blood sugar, and even help you battle jet lag! I travel half way around the globe with my toddler a couple times a year, so taking the time to pack healthy travel food is so important.
Healthy Travel Food
Traveling is stressful on the body. When flying, we have two options:
- Option 1: Eat carb-heavy airplane meals, and junk food snacks including chips, candy, nuts cooked in vegetable oils, and other processed foods bought from fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
- Option 2: Spend 30 minutes the night before traveling to prepare healthy snacks that are rich in nutrients and fiber, free of refined carbs and preservatives, and low in sugar.
The first will make the trek even more stressful on the body. A variety of healthy snacks, as presented in option 2, actually has health properties than can lessen the toll travel takes on the body!
What Snacks to Take on a Plane?
I love to make this on the stove with a bit of coconut oil, and then add sea salt and Italian seasoning. You can also just air pop it in a glass container in the microwave, and then spray with coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. If you want to get really wild, mix up some of my Everything Bagel Popcorn.
Veggies & Dip
Airplane travel includes a lot of waiting time. And what do to with that waiting time? Often, we snack! Best to keep some low calorie, water dense snacks on hand! I love to pack dips, like the tahini dill dressing from this salad. You can’t pack liquid dips like this — unless you’re traveling with kids, and then the rules are waived! A work-around for this is to actually add the dip to your food, so you can pack the veggies with the dip in a jar and it’s fine. It’s just not fine to be in a container on it’s own.
Hard Boiled Eggs
It’s hard to bring protein rich snacks on the plane that don’t also have sugar (like protein bars), but hard boiled eggs travel well at least for the first 4-5 hours. We usually have these for breakfast or morning snack during the first part of the trip, and then switch to protein bars after they are gone.
Lots of fruits travel well. I love apples because they can make the whole 24 hour journey and still taste great. I usually save the apples, and we eat the easier-damaged fruit like bananas and grapes earlier on. Oranges, kiwis packed with little spoons, and berries also often make it on our journeys.
Nuts, Dried Fruit, or Trail Mix
One of the best portable airplane snacks snacks ever. Trail mix makes it the long haul, and has belly-filling fiber and healthy fats. I use raw nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes, and chunks of dark chocolate, for the best treat ever on a plane. This with an apple or carrot sticks is usually my “dinner” later on in our trips, since I pass on the airplane meals!
Easy Travel Trail Mix
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries no-sugar added, if possible
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- All all ingredients to a travel-safe container. Keep in a cool area to prevent the chocolate from melting.
If you can find them, include dried tart cherries in your trail mix. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, and can help lessen the effects of jet lag. The recommendation is to eat a handful of these on your journey (or several, if it’s a long haul flight!), and then to eat another handful before going to bed each night until you feel you’ve adjusted to the new time zone. All cherries have melatonin, but dried tart cherries have the most concentrated levels. Look for a brand that doesn’t contain added sugars.
Homemade Treats that Pack well for Airplane Snacks
We also love bringing homemade cookies, protein bars, and even pancakes or waffles. If you plan ahead, the suggested snacks below make great travel snacks. The rest of the items on this list are relatively no-prep, so taking the time to make one special treat, especially for longer flights, will make the trip so much better, plus lessen the urge to stop and buy your kids M&Ms at the convenience store!
- Healthy Banana Pancakes, by Cooktoria (great cold for toddlers!)
- Healthy Trailmix Protein Bites, by The Endless Meal
- Mini BLT Cups, by The Endless Meal
- Gluten Free Date Bars, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Banana Breakfast Cookies, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Chocolate Sunflower Butter Bars, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Beet Hummus with veggies & rice crackers, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Toasted Coconut Protein Bars, by Sunkissed Kitchen
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Wow! What a great info! I would definitely pick Option 2!
Right?! I have gotten lots of practice at packing snacks for airplanes — having fresh and healthy food makes such a difference and is worth the effort!
I always buy food from the grocery store to take with me on the plane if I know I am going to be on it for awhile/during a meal. That way I get excited to go on the plane (LOL)… Because otherwise, I am scared of flying. But say, if I have Whole Foods pre-made grilled salmon waiting for me, all is right with the world, hahaha!
You might be the one person I know who finds it even more difficult to pack during travel! I’d love to take salmon but I don’t have a Whole Foods, and it just wouldn’t last through the length of my flights! 🙂
I would be sooo hungry after these…